I love the way my natural hair curls; twisting and turning into a pattern of beauty and wonder. Each day the curls tell a different story, unpredictable and yet defined in excellence.
I love how my skin is a mixture of the history of my past. It is the color of the trauma of rape, and yet is the symbol of resilience. It is the color of a revolutionary, and an agent for change.
I love how my history shows fierceness from the experience of warriors, healers, mothers, fathers, kings, queens, slaves, and visionaries. It is within the path of their pain that I have been born into a life of potential.
I love that my culture teaches me humility. The sacrifice of millions teaches me to be grateful for what I have and humble in my understanding of survival.
I love the intensity that is encoded in my DNA and courses through the blood within my veins. I see the immense drive to persevere within my ancestor’s stories, and I know that I too have been born with the DNA of legends.
I love the depth of the Black spirit. It is often indescribably deep, connected to unconscious transgenerational knowledge that is not always taught but felt.
I love the shadow of my Blackness, for it is a part of my ancestral pride. The shadow of our past has always been the motivating fuel for our future. We are stronger than imaginable, and connected in strength through a shared lineage of pain. It is the balance of the dark and the light that illuminates from the resilience of our past; in partnership with one another.
Don’t feel sorry for my Blackness, it is a source of pride. It is not something I am ashamed of or scared to embrace, it is my ancestors mark on my visual soul. I wear it like a badge; showing that I will always be protected by the strength of the survivors before me, cloaked in the brilliance of color.
Don’t be afraid of my power, we cannot change the world if we are afraid of the brilliance within one another.
Don’t be afraid to hear my Black pride, it is not meant to take away from yours. It is within my connection to my culture that I can truly respect and love who you are too.
It is our collective Blackness and our whiteness, our brown and our tan, our history and our present, our hopes and our fears, our pain and our joys, our dreams and our future that we are working for together.